Does your child or teenager need orthodontic treatment, but they are dreading the prospect of wearing traditional metal braces? Invisalign is a more discreet option for straightening teeth that has grown in popularity among both teenagers and adults in recent years. Invisalign is generally safe for older children and teens, but there are a few factors to consider before deciding if Invisalign is the right option for your child. Read on to learn more.
Stage of Dentition
While children often have traditional braces placed during mixed dentition (the phase when adult teeth have begun erupting but there are still baby teeth present), Invisalign and other clear aligners are not recommended for children until they reach full permanent dentition, which is when all the adult teeth have grown in and there are no more baby teeth present. Full permanent dentition typically occurs by the time a child is twelve or thirteen years old, so younger children are not usually good candidates for Invisalign.
Another factor to consider when deciding if Invisalign is right for your child is his or her maturity level. Your child needs to wear their aligners for a minimum of 22 hours per day in order for the treatment to be successful, so you need to make sure your child is reliable enough to stick to this schedule. They also need to be disciplined about always removing their Invisalign when eating or drinking anything besides water, storing it properly, keeping it clean, and not losing it. Even children in the same age group can vary greatly when it comes to their maturity level, so you and your child will need to seriously consider if Invisalign is a good choice for them and their lifestyle. Regardless of your child’s age, Invisalign is not able to address all the same dental issues as traditional braces and other orthodontic appliances like headgear. Invisalign is a good solution for mild to moderate alignment and spacing issues, but it cannot fix a severe overbite or large gaps between teeth, for example. To discuss whether Invisalign is right for your child, call our office today to set up a consultation.